We’ve all now heard stories about someone being bullied online, or threatened. And we’ve also heard about cases where nothing is done by the authorities or the social media companies that end up being host to the bullying.
One young woman from Richmond says she was the victim of a cyberbully for two years, and police couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything about it because she wasn’t a threat to herself, as in the case of Amanda Todd.
Andrea Ng joined Simi Sara for Pink Shirt Day to share her story.
Ng says it first started in 2013 when somebody lifted one of her photos off her Facebook profile, altered it and began sharing it online.
LISTEN to the full interview with Andrea Ng here:
The person posted what looked like naked pictures of Ng to the internet and also sent them to her friends and family via Facebook.
In her blog, Ng writes that the unknown person took a photo she had posted on her Facebook account.
” (and) decided it would be fun to Photoshop a pair of naked breasts onto my picture to make it seem as if I was taking a naked photo of myself. This person proceeded to create a Facebook account under my name and added multiple friends and family. This person changed their name about three times, and did not stop adding people. I didn’t know what to do next other than reporting them over and over again on Facebook and hoping their account would get removed immediately.”
To this day she still doesn’t know the identity of the person responsible
The harassment continued for two years with no help from the social media sites, nor any meaningful help from police.
This despite Ng contacting police multiple times.
“I kept calling them and she never even replied to my calls or my emails.”
She says she was told there was no lead and to just keep reporting it to the police.
As for Facebook and Tumblr, they never reached out to her.
“But luckily enough a lady in Kelowna reached out to me, and she does a lot of internet coding, and she helped me and we kind of got a lead, but it didn’t get close enough.”
With the woman’s help, they determined that the person was living in Richmond.
Taking matters into her own hands
She decided she had to put an end to it when it appeared the stalker might begin contacting companies she was trying to intern with.
At that point, she says she realized she had to deal with it and decided to take matters into her own hands by blogging about it.
“I wanted to get the point across to the public that this photo is not real, because a lot of people would think that it’s real, my future employers as well.”
The blog was intended for her friends and potential future employers, but instead it was read by thousands of people on the first day.
It worked, the unknown cyberbully stopped harassing her.
Her advice for anyone being cyberbullied
“I would advise you to be very cautious of how you use social media, because you never know, one day a person could take a photo and re-vamp it. And also tell somebody. Don’t be ashamed because you know the truth and other people don’t…because you don’t know who you’re going to inspire and who you’re going to lift up…it might be happening to them as well.”
She also encourages people to report it to the police, despite her own experience.
“If they see it’s actually an urgent case, or it’s actually happening to a lot of people – they might take action.”